Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Remember This Guy...?

I'm sure that those of us that are science fiction fans do!

One of my favorite writers back when I was a young man. I probably read several of his books more than once, but that happens a lot when I find one I like!

Sep 18, 1917:
Aldous Huxley is hired at Eton

On this day in 1917, 23-year-old Aldous Huxley, future author of Brave New World is hired as a schoolmaster at Eton. One of his pupils will be Eric Blair, who will later use the pen name George Orwell.

Huxley was born into a prominent family. His grandfather was a famous biologist and proponent of Darwin, and his father was a respected biographer. Huxley hoped to become a scientist like his grandfather, but his dreams were shattered when a medical condition robbed him of most of his sight while he was a student at Eton.

Barely able to read, he nevertheless graduated from Oxford in 1916, the same year his first book appeared. The following year, he began teaching. His near-blindness disqualified him from service in World War I. From 1919 to 1921, he edited a publication called Athenaeum. In 1919, he married and had one son. The family moved to Italy in 1920 and lived most of the next several decades there while traveling widely. His satirical novels Crome Yellow (1921) and Antic Hay (1923) were successful, and he wrote full time for the rest of his life, churning out 47 books and many articles, essays, and screenplays.

His 1928 book, Point Counterpoint, became a bestseller, and in 1932 he published his masterwork Brave New World, which he wrote in four months. The book paints a dark vision of a future where individual emotion, creativity, and impulse have been completely subordinated to the tyrannical state.

In 1937, Huxley moved to California, where he became a screenwriter. His screenplays include Pride and Prejudice (1940), starring Laurence Olivier, and Jane Eyre (1944). In the 1950s, Huxley became a proponent of the controlled use of psychedelic drugs to liberate the mind. He wrote two books about his experiences using LSD and mescaline under supervision: The Doors of Perception (inspiring the name of the rock group The Doors) and Heaven and Hell. Huxley's first wife died in 1955, and he remarried in 1956. His 1962 novel, Island, envisioned a utopian society where psychedelic drugs are used for religious rituals. Huxley died in Los Angeles in 1963.

I wonder what Huxley would think about the world situation now days? Would he be saddened to see some of his harsher visions become so close to reality? I think so!

Something to ponder a bit, don't you think?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. I have a few cookies left that I'll share!


Felinae said...

Interesting, thanks, Uncle Hermit. I always learn something new from you.

I appreciate you sharing all this info. with us.

Have a great day!


Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I have never read any of Huxley's work, so thanks for this brief intro to him. I imagine he would be surprised to see his fiction becoming reality.

Sixbears said...

Brave New World reads like a much more recent work.

linda m said...

Brave New World was an excellent book - however, I fear it isn't fiction anymore. Thanks for sharing this story about him.

JOJO said...

Very interesting. I have never read any of his books. From the above comments maybe I should read Brave New World.

Save me a cookie please. Or maybe I should just bring more.

Syrbal said...

Yes, I remember those books quite well. Dystopia....well, we are getting there at something like warp speed, aren't we.

Sometimes science fiction is too painful to read these days.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I, too, liked kiss books. Didn't know his eyes were bad.

HermitJim said...

Hey Felinae...
I'm always more than happy to share what little knowledge I find.

You know I'm always happy to see you drop by for a visit as well! Thank you!

Hey Beatrice...
I think you might enjoy some of his works. He had a good grasp of what might happen in his future, which is becoming our present.

I really appreciate you coming over this morning!

Hey Sixbears...
It sure does, my friend!

Funny how that works out, isn't it?

Thanks for the visit this morning!

Hey Linda...
Strange how so much of Science Fiction has become science fact! Happens more and more every day!

I really appreciate you coming by this morning!

Hey JoJo...
I figured you were a reader of Huxley, but since you are not...maybe you should pick up a copy and try him out!

Careful, though! He can rattle the imagination!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over this morning!

Hey Syrbal...
Sure seems like the trip towards that end is gaining speed!

Some of the early works are more like a description of today's news, I'm afraid!

Thanks so much for coming by this morning!

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
If I'm not mistaken, both he and Orwell had vision problems, but they continued to write!

Did pretty well at it, too!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by this morning!

Craig Cavanaugh said...

It is a "Brave New World". Not quite what he described, but we're getting there...

HermitJim said...

Hey Craig...
Approaching it faster than we would want, I'm afraid!

Pretty scary!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

Madeline Jackson said...

Very interesting. I have never read any of his books. From the above comments maybe I should read Brave New World. Save me a cookie please. Or maybe I should just bring more.